Khalid Al Arif: Middle East needs system similar to Eurocontrol for air traffic management
Dubai: Dubai is set to witness a record high passenger numbers at airports this summer. Last year, passenger traffic in July was 14 per cent higher compared to previous year and Dubai Airports welcomed over 22.4 million people from July to September.
“This year, we expect passenger numbers to surpass last year numbers,” said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) and Chairman of Dubai Airports, in his message in the latest issue of Via Dubai, the official monthly publication of the DCAA.
Sheikh Ahmed, who is also the Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group and Chairman of Dubai World Central Corporation, said Dubai’s aviation sector sees the peak season as a challenge and an opportunity to offer unmatchable services and passenger experience. To achieve this, all the stakeholders involved in providing services work together to ensure that every aspect of passenger services, whether it is customer service, immigration procedures, and above all, safety and security, is taken good care of.
In his message in the latest edition of Via Dubai (viadubaionline.com), Sheikh Ahmed said use of latest smart technologies, such as Emirates ID at smart gates, is enabling passengers to speed through passport control within a few seconds.
In his message, His Excellency Mohammed Abdulla Ahli, Director General of DCAA, said the DCAA has formed a 10X project team, which is holding a series of inhouse meetings and also meetings with our stakeholders, in this direction, in order to analyse and examine opportunities to improve and adopt path-breaking technology and initiatives toward ensuring safety of Dubai’s skies.
Ahli said: “Our visionary leadership has always inspired us to be the best and now, with the launch of Dubai 10X, have set the mission of being 10 years ahead of other places in the world. This is a great inspiration as well as an opportunity toward which we are committed to giving beyond our best. As we progress on this, I must say that our commitment to this mission includes everyone, all the employees who are a part of the DCAA, in the same manner that they have been involved in the previous initiatives toward excellence and innovation. We look forward to the challenging and exciting journey on our path to becoming the city of the future.”
In an interview to Via Dubai, Khalid Al Arif, Executive Director, Aviation Safety & Environment Sector, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), said crowded skies are a major challenge not only for the UAE and Middle East alone, it is a challenge for most countries worldwide due to rise in demand for air travel and a system similar to Eurocontrol would enable countries in the Middle East to tackle this challenge effectively.
“There is also a future requirement for countries in the Middle East Region to adopt and undertake a system similar to the Eurocontrol system where all the countries collaborated to become one airspace region. This would increase capacity, decrease delays and be more efficient in terms of environment with less holding for aircraft and more direct routings. The construction of the new airport, Maktoum International Airport, is a strategic move in this direction and will also help the capacity restraints currently seen at Dubai international,” said Arif.
The bilingual newsletter in English and Arabic also has an exclusive column by Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World, in which she talks about the financial health of airport industry. “Airports Council International (ACI) is pleased to announce the release of the 2017 ACI Airport Economics Report and to confirm that the financial health of the airport industry has remained intact despite the persistence of economic woes and geopolitical risks across global markets. Revenues, costs and the resultant financial performance reflects a degree of stability over a number of years,” said Gittens.
In the Opinion Section, Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO, IATA, said Europe needs to fix its ATM challenges.
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